The subsea operations and manufacturing company JFD, a part of James Fisher and Sons, has received a multi-million dollar contract for the design and build of an advanced Deep Search and Rescue Vehicle (DSRV).
The DSRV will be delivered as a part of a submarine rescue capability being provided to the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).
The contract, awarded by South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), will ensure the provision of an advanced and highly capable submarine rescue vehicle to the South Korean Navy that will ensure the highest standards in safety for submariners.
Following the recent contract award to DSME for the construction of a new auxiliary submarine rescue ship (ASR-II) for the RoKN, JFD will design and build a DSRV bespoke to the requirements of the customer that will enhance the operational capabilities of its submarine rescue service.
Once in operation, the DSRV will be launched and recovered from the submarine rescue vessel via a ‘moonpool’, through which the DSRV will be deployed to rescue the crews of distressed submarines at depths of up to 500m, and in waves as tall as four metres. This method of launch and recovery minimises the impact of weather and sea states on the ability to operate the DSRV, maximising the chances of a successful submarine rescue operation, further safeguarding the lives of submariners.
JFD has extensive experience in launch and recovery via a ‘moonpool’ through its years of delivering advanced saturation diving systems and diving bells through moonpools.
Giovanni Corbetta, Managing Director, JFD, said: “We are proud to have worked with the RoKN for a number of years in supporting the provision of its submarine rescue service. Protecting the lives of submariners is of utmost importance to JFD, and ensuring our customers have the most advanced and comprehensive submarine rescue capability is fundamental to this. The new DSRV will provide an advanced capability to the RoKN that will ensure the lives of those operating subsea are protected at all times.”
Due to be delivered to the customer in 2021, the DSRV will undergo a comprehensive series of tests and trials including factory, harbour, and sea acceptance trials, before entering operational service.
The DSRV has been designed to maximise battery capacity and operational endurance, increasing the chances of a successful rescue operation. This is also ensures minimal time is spent recharging the vehicle’s batteries, ensuring the DSRV can be deployed quickly in the event of an incident.
In the development of its advanced DSRV design, JFD employed its extensive experience from the development of its multiple advanced submarine rescue systems currently in operation around the world, in order to optimise the design to meet the bespoke requirements of the RoKN.
The RoKN currently operates a multipurpose submarine rescue ship - the 103 m long, 4,300-tonne RoKS Cheonghaejin. Once in operation, the new ASR-II vessel will replace the current Cheonghaejin, in operation since 1996.
JFD has supported an advanced submarine rescue capability for over nine years, and following delivery of the new DSRV will continue to work with the RoKN and its partners in providing a comprehensive training and support programme that will ensure that submarine rescue operations are carried out safely and efficiently.
James Fisher and Sons CEO Nick Henry, said: "JFD first delivered a deep search and rescue system to the South Korean navy in 2009. This additional capability further demonstrates our position of market leadership in the submarine rescue market, as well as the strong relationships that we build with our customers.
"The vehicle is a variation of the landmark third-generation vehicles recently delivered to the Indian navy."
In December 2018, JFD successfully delivered the second of two Third Generation submarine rescue systems to the Indian Navy. The delivery of the second system represents a significant milestone in the provision of a comprehensive submarine rescue capability that will enhance safety for submariners.